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One day, a small opening appeared on a cocoon; a man sat and watched for the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through that little hole.

Then, it seems to stop making any progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could and it could not go any further.

So the man decided to help the butterfly: he took a pair of scissors and opened the cocoon. The butterfly then emerged easily. But it had a withered body, it was tiny and shriveled wings.

The man continued to watch because he expected that, at any moment, the wings would open, enlarge and expand, to be able to support the butterfly's body, and become firm.

Neither happened! In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a withered body and shriveled wings. It never was able to fly.

What the man, in his kindness and his goodwill did not understand was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the butterfly to get through the tiny opening, were God's way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings, so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon.

Sometimes, struggles are exactly what we need in our life. If Goddess allowed us to go through our life without any obstacles, it would cripple us. We would not be as strong as we could have been. Never been able to fly.

I asked for Strength...
And Goddess gave me difficulties to make me strong.
I asked for Wisdom...
And Goddess gave me problems to solve.
I asked for Prosperity...
And Goddess gave me a brain and brawn to work.
I asked for Courage...
And Goddess gave me obstacles to overcome.
I asked for Love...
And Goddess gave me troubled people to help.
I asked for Favors...
And Goddess gave me opportunities.
I received nothing I wanted...
But I received everything I needed.

Live life without fear, confront all obstacles and evince that you can overcome them.

~ Ritual Interlude ~
Crone's Time Away

excerpt p78 New Menopausal Years

The first stage of metamorphosis is going into a cocoon. The first step of one's self-initiation as Crone is isolation. As you enter menopause, you may feel an urge to let go of the more public parts of your life and retreat.

Just as the menstruating woman naturally seeks to be alone, or has it thrust upon her in the form of painful periods, so the menopausal woman may choose to take time away, or may become the "victim" as her husband leaves her, her children grow up, and her erratic moods alienate her former friends. Chosen or not, manifested subtly or dramatically, isolation stalks the menopausal woman and carries her into her Crone's Time Away.

As menopausal changes increase, our physical processes lead us into ourselves. We want to sleep alone, so the wakings and cover-tossings can be guilt-free. We want to be alone so we can undress and dress as flushes and flashes and sweats and glows of heated energy flow through us. We want to be alone to face our Change, to embrace the chaos and our own darkness. We need to be in our cave to sort the experiences of our lives.

This is the first secret of menopause. I want to be alone! (This is not depression.) Don't call me mom! (This is not hysteria.) What do I have to lose by telling the truth? (I am not crazy.)

Deep in our cave we can hear, perhaps for the first time, the voice of our own needs, our own desires. We can take the time, perhaps as never before, to tend to our own needs and our own wants.

Your Crone's Time Away begins with a ritual done by yourself or with others. This is but one possibility. It is designed to tell your family and close friends that your need to be alone is not a rejection of them but a claiming of yourself. It may open into an actual time of isolation, a vacation, a separate room or cabin, or it may create an aura of awe around you that will allow you to feel into your moods and needs without any underlying pressure to tend to others.

Gather with your family and friends in a public place, the noisier the better, to symbolize the busyness in your life. Walk from this place to a quieter, more isolated area, symbolizing the quiet space you need.

Facing each other, join hands and hum. Don't worry about how you sound. Pay attention to your breath; let the hum vibrate.

Invite the energies of the seven directions to be present with you: east, south, west, north, above, below, and within. Invite your ancestors to be present. Invite your spirit guides and guardian angels to be there with you. Together, bend down to the earth, touching your hands to the earth and breathe out. Then stretch to the sky and breathe in. Bring your hands to your heart, close your eyes, and go inside your self to the place within the within within.

Using your own words, speak to each of the important people in your life. Stand in front of them and look into their eyes. (Use a photo for those not present.) "You are my lover (daughter, friend, son, sister, mate). I take great joy in pleasing you. I feel great power in making your life easy, beautiful, abundant. For the next few years I will be going through menopause, the great Change, the great changer. I will be busy finding my way to my new self, the baby crone, the butterfly. How I will change, I know not now. Of this I am sure, however, my love and affection for you will not change. Together we affirm this bond.

"Yet I must take this journey alone. I ask now for your blessing on me as I begin my Change, my journey. I ask you to acknowledge my Crone's Time Away. Let me go with love so my growth will not wrench me from your grasp."

Speak in your own way, in song or dance, in poetry or a prepared script, to each person or to everyone. They need not respond.

When your ceremony is complete, join hands again and begin to hum. Let the hum go on as long as it wants to. Lift your arms to the sky and breathe out. Place your hands on the earth and breathe in. Say goodbye and thank you to the ancestors and angels and guardians. Bring your hands to your heart and feel the vibration in your being.

Drop hands. Leave the circle by yourself. Spend the night alone. In the silence you may hear Grandmother Growth whispering in your ear.

excerpt p78 New Menopausal YearsThe Wise Woman Way by Susun S. Weed


If you liked this excerpt by Susun S. Weed, you will want
NEW Menopausal Years the Wise Woman Way:
Alternative Approaches for Women 30 - 90
by Susun S. Weed
Foreword by Juliette de Bairacli Levy.
304 pages, index, magical illustrations.
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Read Juliette de Levy-Bairacli's introduction:
This book should be in the hands of every woman, of every race,
no matter what age, worldwide.

Read some excerpts:
Building Better Bones
Kundalini Meditation

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